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Donald Tardy (Obituary)

Interview with Donald Tardy from Obituary
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 22 November 2007, 10:49 PM

The latest OBITUARY album is entitled Xecutioner's Return, a name that reminds us of this band's past, and I feel honored that I had the chance to be the one to review it. After my review, I would be the least stupid to miss the chance to interview the band and have some of my questions (regarding the new album, Allen West etc) answered. Enjoy Florida Death Metal at its best!

Hello and thank you for giving us the chance to listen to one more ’rotten’ album from you! Since there is no need for bio stuff for a band like you, I would like you to tell us what happened after the release of Frozen In Time till now.

After the release of Frozen we did as much promotion and touring that we could and enjoyed being a part of all festivals in Europe. I would have liked to tour in America, but we will focus on that next year. Once we got home from the touring, we focused on writing the new album.

This is your second album as a ’reunited’ band. How do you feel? Is the OBITUARY flame still burning for even more albums or do you have any other plans?

Yes, there are plans in the future to keep writing. We are having more fun now then ever. We are all still great friends who really enjoy being around each other, and the song writing process is still an exciting feeling.

You decided to name the album Xecutioner’s Return, a title that is pretty old school. Does this title have to do with the music or you just wanted to show that you are still here teaching some good old-fashioned Death Metal?

I don’t know, it’s just a title that we felt fit the record. It is an old school song-writing album. Nothing but ass-kicking OBITUARY style music. We know that we have a style that our fans love and we knew it was an album that does show our original roots. I am very proud of this record.

I am sorry to say that, but what disappointed me in your new album was the cover. I think it lacks the extreme stuff you always used and it is not an OBITUARY related work. Who drew it and why did you choose this one instead of something else?

We used the same artist that has been doing art for us for 15 years. His name is Andreas Marschall. I’m sorry you don’t like it.

Ralph Santolla was the man to replace Allen West. Ralph was always more technical and melodic. Why did you choose him as a substitute?

Ralph is a guy that we knew could put down some solos that would make fans shit themselves. He is an amazing guitarist and a really good friend of mine. Ralph really made this an instant classic album and help put us up to another level in ass kicking. I hope everyone enjoys his solos as much as I do.

You are one of the cult US Death Metal bands and you have seen many things during your career. Do you think that Death Metal has lost its unique ’gore’ feeling?

I don’t know. I can only speak for my band and I know we still are writing songs that our fans need. They deserve to get songs that still destroy their eardrums and I glad to give it to them.

Lately I had the chance to review many great Death Metal works from bands like MALEVOLENT CREATION, INSISION and many more. Is a Death Metal renaissance taking place or is it just some bands trying to keep the scene alive?

I think the bands that are still out there doing it deserve respect and support from all metal heads. It is a scene that will never die and I am proud to be one of the forefathers still doing the kicking.

Why did you leave Roadrunner Records and why did you sign with the UK’s Candlelight Records? Are you satisfied with the support you have from your current label?

RoadRunner was no longer interested in OBITUARY, so we were happy to leave. Candlelight is doing their best at getting the album out there and I’m very glad to see them work as hard as they are.

The production in your new album is rawer than the one Frozen In Time had. Is this something done so as to approach the old-school feeling?

We entered the recording process trying our best to get a great unique sound. We didn’t worry about anything else or what other bands were doing. We knew that if we got a sound we were happy with; our fans would love it too. We are not the band to worry too about anything. We just knew that we had some killer songs and we were very confident that we would make a great sounding album if we just focused on playing the songs well.

You always managed to keep the balance between mid-tempo groovy parts and relentless Death Metal outbreaks. How can someone handle the tempo in such a great way without losing the control?

We have always been fans of groove, so we were very satisfied with songs on the album, but just to set the record straight we have the slowest song and the fastest song we have ever written on this album. Oh yeah, and the longest one we have ever written. A little bit of everything for the fans…

I don’t want to become annoying, but what happened with Allen West? Why was he put in jail? Is he still a member of OBITUARY?

Allen got in trouble for drinking and driving one too many times. We are not commenting on the future until we see what happens with him once released.

Are you planning to visit Europe for any live performances in the near future?

The entire Europe tour is already confirmed for January-February. All the dates will soon be on the web site.

Is there any album you have released that you are ashamed of (or just don’t like)?


What are you listening to lately? Are there any new bands that you like?

I listen to my old classic metal albums still: MERCYFUL FATE, SLAYER, ACID BATH, DIO, and as for new stuff… I like the new FULL BLOWN CHAOS album, HANK III, but my favorite is still Layne Staley. I love the MAD SEASON album he did called Above.

Which advice would you give to young kids that start a Metal band?

Play what you love and play it loud.

What do you think is the element that makes OBITUARY such a great and most of all unique band?

The great thing about OBITUARY is we are as heavy as a sack of donkey balls!

Thank you for the time you spent for this interview and thank you for giving me the chance to interview OBITUARY, a living legend! It was an honor! I leave the last words to you!

Thanks for the interview and support… Let everyone know to check the website for all future plans and events we will doing next year.


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